Jazz Music, by Ara Hagopian
Jazz Music, by Ara Hagopian

Cold blooded creatures - reptiles, amphibians and fish - are the focal point of In Cold Blood, the exhibit running Nov. 2-Dec. 7 at the Brush Art Gallery and Artists Studios in Lowell.

These beings play a big part in the ecological food chain, as both predators and prey. They're sensitive to habitat disturbances and their presence -- or lack of presence -- is good a indicator of the environment's health.

But despite their importance, they are often reviled for their awkward appearances. The exhibition encourages viewers to take a close look at the beauty and grace of these creatures.

Among the works on view are two brightly colored abstract fish drawings created by North Chelmsford artist Ara Hagopian.

The Wild Blue, by Ara Hagopian
The Wild Blue, by Ara Hagopian

One, "Jazz Music," is a 20- by 30-inch tropical fish. It was recently featured in Hagopian's new book What Happened to Vicky Lee? A Collection of Stories, published this summer.

Hagopian's inspiration was music by jazz greats Freddy Hubbard and Stanley Clark.

"When I heard their music, I was inspired to draw an abstract fish, with electric lines and jagged patterns," said Hagopian. "New music is like a hidden staircase in an old familiar house, and the sounds transform into pictures on those newly-revealed walls. The 'Jazz Music' drawing is one of those pictures."

Hagopian is excited to have his work shown in this show at the Brush, which was juried by Carel Brest van Kempen, an internationally known artist and author, whose work has been exhibited in such venues as The Smithsonian, The American Museum of Natural History, The British Museum and The National Museum of Taiwan. He has illustrated over a dozen books featuring reptiles and amphibians and authored the popular coffee table book Rigor Vitae: Life Unyielding.

An artists reception takes place Nov. 9, 2-4 p.m. On Nov. 23, 2-4 p.m., the Massachusetts Audubon Society will be at the Brush with live reptiles and amphibians, plus Lowell elementary school students will share their artistic interpretations of reptiles, amphibians and fish that day in a special exhibit.

The Brush is located at 256 Market St., Lowell. Call 978-459-7819 or visit thebrush.org for info.

Art picks

By Rodgers Memorial Library’s November artist, Susan Peterson
By Rodgers Memorial Library's November artist, Susan Peterson
  • CHANGING SEASONS: Reasons for Seasons, an exhibition of watercolors by Susan Peterson, is on view through November in the Community Room at Rodgers Memorial Library in Hudson, N.H. The environment inspires Peterson, who enjoys depicting everyday elements with a bit of fun and fantasy. Painting in a realistic style, she often includes flowers, produce and animals in her work. A reception takes place Saturday, Nov. 2, 1-3 p.m. and Peterson will have prints and cards featuring her work for sale... The library offers a paper techniques workshop the first Thursday of each month at 6:30 p.m. for teens and adults. On Thursday, Nov. 7, the class will learn how to make holiday cards using Shrinky Dinks. Registration required. Call 603-886-6030 or visit rmlnh.org/events for info.
  • URBAN ART: Lawrence Heritage State Park is currently hosting an exhibit of paintings by Ralph Fasanella, a well-known urban folk artist, whose work has helped make the Lawrence Bread and Roses more widely known. His paintings about Lawrence and the strike are some of the most famous images in American labor history. The show runs through Dec. 16. Visit fasanellaslawrence.org for info.
  • ALL THAT JAZZ: Zeitgeist Gallery, 167 Market St., Lowell, hosts High Noon Jazz the first Sunday of the month. On Sunday, Nov. 3, noon-3 p.m., Seth Balin and Friends will be on hand to play for people's listening pleasure. Refreshments served, donations accepted and bring a sketchbook if you want.
  • AN EXTENSION: Artists at the Loading Dock Gallery at Western Avenue Studios, 122 Western Ave., Lowell, have extended the run of their group show to Nov. 24. Visit the gallery, located on the second floor of the A-Mill building in Western Ave. complex, Wednesdays-Saturdays, noon-5:30 p.m., and Sundays, noon-4 p.m. theloadingdockgallery.com for info.

Nancye Tuttle's email address is nancyedt@verizon.net.